Skip to Main Content
"As false as the Black Prince of Hades": resurveying in Arkansas, 1849-1859Author(s): Don C. Bragg; Tom Webb
Source: Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 73(3): 268-292
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (2.24 MB)
DescriptionIn April 1856, a surveyor named Granville McPherson, toiling in the rugged hills north of present-day Harrison, Arkansas, was growing increasingly frustrated. The source of his aggravation was a deeply flawed original land survey filed by one of his predecessors, Charles H. Pelham. Years earlier, Pelham had sworn under oath that he had faithfully executed an original survey of this area to fulfill a contract with the U.S. government's General Land Office (GLO). An accumulation of evidence suggested otherwise, however. Many in Arkansas were well aware of Pelham's surveying inadequacies. Indeed, McPherson had been hired to fix more than one of Pelham's suspect efforts. Even an untrained eye could compare the plat maps of Pelham and McPherson and quickly recognize the discrepancies. One can only imagine what McPherson might have uttered to himself if he saw fit to label this particular example of Pelham's work "as false as the Black Prince of Hades" in his official survey notes!
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBragg, Don C.; Webb, Tom. 2014. "As false as the Black Prince of Hades": resurveying in Arkansas, 1849-1859. Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 73(3): 268-292.
Keywordshistory, Arkansas, Public Land Survey System
- A taste of sowbelly and saleratus biscuit: Gifford Pinchot's Arkansas adventure
- Early forestry research in the South: a personal history
- The "spotlight" ... highlighting researchers at work: Ward McCaughey: "Don't sweat the small stuff"
XML: View XML